The Wednesday volunteers are back!

At last the Wednesday volunteers have been able to get back to some much needed work in the park. (With added social distancing, of course!)
 
The last two Wednesdays we have caught up with the litter and dog picking and made some headway on the Cafe flower bed. But clearing all the weeds has been hard going.
 
It is so long since we had any rain that it has been like trying to push a hoe through concrete. And as the weeds break off rather than pull out once we do get some rain they are all going to grow again.
 
For the moment just don’t look at the front of the flower bed! The wall flowers are over and the remains of the primulars looking a bit sorry for themselve. But as we get things under control these will be replaced with some summer bedding plants.
 

 
The iris have been looking good but are nearly over but for now just cast your eyes over the roses.
 
They are doing exceptionally well particularly so early in the summer and in case you have failed to spot that low down beautiful specimen white rose it is pictured here.
 

Wednesday Volunteers – News from the Park

It’s been a mixed bag of Wednesdays over the past month or so, what with the ever changing weather.

Fence painting 

Following our purchase of further supplies of paint, fence painting has resumed on the few panels we are able to complete, but only when we are not too busy with other tasks (and the weather is good!).

Once the council finish pressure washing the remainder of the fence – they did promise to get it done last September when they stopped the volunteers doing it – we hope to organise another weekend volunteer painting session.

Path clearing

It’s been an ongoing job – returning sand to the beach that recent storms had washed into the children’s play area.

Storm damage and erosion

The recent storms have also undermined more areas on the promenade….

And the little ‘Ricky-racky’ bridge has had a tough winter – further erosion has exposed part of the structure, which is rotten.

Festive news from Hamworthy Park

With the last two Wednesdays falling on the most important days of the festive season, it has been understandable that volunteer numbers have been a bit lower than usual.

Nevertheless, litter picking in the park has continued over the holiday as has clearing up poo after irresponsible dog owners. We even managed a bit of gardening.

Muddy Boots

Thanks to Muddy Boots Nursery, the Wednesday Volunteers have been enjoying the container of chocolates given to us before Christmas. But we are only allowed one for every bucket of litter we pick up! Thank you Muddy Boots – we do love to see you in the park.

Wednesday volunteers hamworthy park

Dog toys

We do get some lovely dogs enjoying themselves in the park. Some obviously got too many presents for Christmas as they keep leaving them for us to find! Any lost toys can be reclaimed from the Paddling Pool Van on Wednesday mornings — by the park cafe. At the last count there were eleven balls in the van! In the spirit of the holiday, we can always find a less well off dog who would appreciate one of the unclaimed balls.

Dog toys hamworthy park

New Year’s day on the beach

On New Year’s Day we met a family enjoying themselves for the first time in their newly acquired beach hut – note the festive decoration over the entrance. The air was a little damp, but what a great way to spend New Years day…in Hamworthy Park!

Wishing you all a healthy and happy 2020.

Beach hut hamworthy park

News from the park – Wednesday volunteers

Flower beds

On Wednesday,  the volunteers carried out the usual litter and dog poo picking. We also cleared the flower bed in front of the cafe of the ornamental grasses. This was because they were starting to smother the rose bushes. With this done, we could prune the roses that could not be reached last week.

The bed looks a bit of a mess now but we will tidy it up this coming Wednesday and meanwhile consider what new plants we might put in. Hopefully, over the winter months, a number of the existing primulas will provide a bit of colour.

Sand on the promenade

Having cleared the western end of the promenade of sand and debris last week, we found that the eastern end was not so bad. What had been deposited there was returned to the beach.

Fallen tree

The previous Wednesday, we were busy at the western end of the park. So we are not sure when it occurred – but we see that a tree near the redundant outdoor education centre had blown over in the recent strong winds. We’ve reported this to the Council who will hopefully deal with it soon. The Council doesn’t allow our volunteers to use power tools in the park – something that we are working hard to change!

Marine life

A spectacular looking star fish was seen today – the largest one I have seen in one our beach. A man was trying to return it to the water without much success as the next wave beached it again. Not being an expert on marine life, I’m not sure if it is too late once it has been deposited on the beach – perhaps there is an expert out there who can let us know.

Last week we noted that something in the water near a groyne had taken the interest of a lady – she informed us it was a cuttlefish she had seen swimming, but when I got there hoping for a photo it had disappeared. We know they are about as it is not unusual to find the odd cuttlefish bone on the beach.

Get involved

If you would like to get some fresh air, meet people and make a difference, then come and join one of our volunteering groups.

Wednesday Volunteers – meet every Wednesday in Hamworthy Park, 9.30 am outside the park cafe. Just turn up!

Saturday Volunteers – we run a programme of Saturday volunteer events roughly once a month.

See our website or Facebook for further details. Or get in contact.

Sand on the Promenade

It’s been a week of high tides and winds! And as such, a great deal of sand and debris had been deposited on the promenade.

If it is left on the promenade, it builds up and can make life difficult for wheelchairs, pushchairs and young children on their scooters.

So, on Wednesday, two volunteers spent a couple of hours shovelling and sweeping it all back onto the beach. Unfortunately, we were unable to clear the whole of the prom as the amount of sand gradually took its toll on the elderly volunteers.

Fortunately, the Wednesday morning weather was very good and as we progressed, first coats were removed then cardigans! We concentrated our efforts on the worst areas and did manage to clear the stretch from the western end to the central footpath as can be seen in the before and after photos.

No doubt the volunteers will be back before winter is done!

 

Litter in the Park – June 2019 Update

litter in hamworthy park

You may remember that last year, litter was a big problem in the park over the summer months. And you’ll have seen it for yourself when using the park.

What’s the problem?

Last year, there was an increase in park use due to the warm weather, along with the Council’s policy of removing some bins while replacing others.

Fenced-in area

Of particular concern, all the bins were removed from the fenced-in paddling pool and play area. This area has a number of picnic benches and is heavily used by families visiting the paddling pool, eating picnics and playing on the play equipment.

It’s the one place in the park that really needs litter bins! Why? Because it is where the most litter is generated. Also, with all the bins being outside the fenced area, parents/carers feel uneasy about leaving children in this area unattended while they take litter outside to the bins. Equally, they are unhappy about letting children out to put litter in the bins themselves as they pass out of view.

The removal of these bins was supposed to reduce the amount of litter being dropped in the fenced-in area. However, it has resulted in an increase in litter, smashed glass and dirty nappies.

Car park bins

Also, the removal of a number of bins from around the car park has resulted in a noticeable increase in littering there. Again, this area has picnic benches and is heavily used – one of the places you that really needs bins.

These increases meant that FOHP litter picking volunteers were in the park 2 to 3 times more than normal last year – an unsustainable amount.

You can read about the issues from last year, here, and a follow up at the end of the season, here.

What’s been done?

This year FOHP have tried to get ahead of the curve with mixed results.

Discussion with the Council

In March, we sat down with the Council to discuss possible ways of reducing litter for the 2019 season.

Ideally, we want bins reinstated in the fenced of paddling pool and play area, and by the car park. We have been told previously that this will not happen.

In addition to this, our suggestions included:

  • Support from the Council litter team on bank holidays.
  • Temporary bins in strategic places in agreement with our volunteers, including by the western entrance to the paddling pool.
  • Signs in the paddling pool area to show where bins are positioned outside the gates.
  • High profile visits from the dog wardens

Of these suggestions, the Council agreed to place two temporary bins in the park – but like last year, they will not put both of them where our volunteers suggest.

Education

FOHP have been running litter picks with various nurseries and youth groups. This helps teach children the value of looking after our green spaces and hopefully, they’ll grow up to respect our open spaces. It also means more litter getting picked in the park.

Local community groups

In addition, we’ve had a number of local groups asking to pick litter in the park. Of course, we said yes! And thank you!

Next steps

We will be making our local Councillors aware of the issues as well as organising additional litter picks in the park over the summer months.

The issue of bins in the fenced off paddling pool and play area is a safety issue as much as a littering issue and needs to be addressed – ideally with the reinstatement of these bins.

News from the park – May

Watching the seasons

It was still the month of April when our first rose, pictured here, burst into life. It was very early in the season, but a welcome sight. And hopefully there are many more to come.

flowers hamworthy park
The roses must like what we feed them

A few days later it is now into May and as you can see quite a number of our spring flowering bulbs are still providing a bit of colour in the park.

These have lasted really well.

Another welcome visitor

Last week we had another of our occasional park visitors – a Little White Egret.

For some time now their numbers in this area have been on the increase since they first arrived from France and started breeding in the mid-nineties.

Little Egrets are easily recognised by their long black beak and legs with yellow webbed feet and upright stance.  This one was seen socialising with the resident seagulls at the eastern end of the park.

The power of the sea

The waters within Poole Harbour are generally considered to be relatively safe and not normally known for rough conditions.

Nevertheless, it must have taken some waves of considerable strength to wash up an item as heavy as this. A cast iron engine block complete with crankshaft that has recently appeared on the shoreline within the park.

Youngest Wednesday volunteer

Pictured here is Chloe – a regular member of our Wednesday volunteers. When it comes to litter picking, a four-year-old certainly has an advantage over most of her elderly colleagues.

She can get into places the others have no chance of reaching. Evidence of this is when she pulled out this old bicycle basket from the hedge bordering the railway, it must have been there some considerable time.

She also comes into her own when litter picking the shrubberies at the Branksea Avenue end.  At her low level she can spot litter others cannot see and she won’t give up until the offending bottle or can is in the firm grasp of her litter picker.

Get involved

If you would like to get some fresh air, meet people and make a difference, then come and join one of our volunteering groups.

Wednesday Volunteers – meet every Wednesday in Hamworthy Park, 10.00am outside the park cafe. Just turn up!

Saturday Volunteers – we run a programme of Saturday volunteer events roughly once a month.

See our website or Facebook for further details. Or get in contact.

Picking up glass on the beach

Glass reported on the beach

Following a report that a dog had suffered a bad cut on whilst on the beach, a glass pick was carried out by the Wednesday volunteers.

To be honest, searching out glass on the beach is akin to the needle in a haystack – nevertheless, twenty-four pieces of glass, pictured here, were found.

At least there are now twenty-four pieces less but there could be an awful lot more hidden amongst the sand and stones. Dog owners and parents, please take care.

Obviously, a regular beach glass pick would help reduce the problem but our band of Wednesday volunteers can only do so much.

Get involved

If you would like to make a difference in your community, come and join one of our volunteering groups.

Wednesday Volunteers – meet every Wednesday in Hamworthy Park, 10.00am outside the park cafe. Just turn up!

Saturday Volunteers – we run a programme of Saturday volunteer events roughly once a month.

See our website or Facebook for further details. Or get in contact.

Broken glass on the flood bank

WARNING – BROKEN GLASS

Last year, particularly in the dry summer months, the Friends were made aware that broken glass was becoming a potential hazard as it was constantly appearing on the surface along the top of the Western end flood bank.

What was done? 

A member of the Wednesday working party picked up a number of pieces but within a week or so more had appeared. The situation was constantly monitored and on another occasion 32 shards of glass were picked up.

We reported this to a Council Officer but we were told it was the responsibility of the Environment Agency – either way, nothing official has been done to solve the problem.

Reoccurring problem 

We have recently had another dry spell and it appears the problem has not gone away. This week twenty-one pieces of glass (see photo) had broken the surface and were picked up by a Wednesday Volunteer. 

As it seems likely that this will be an ongoing problem we wish to bring it to park users’ attention, particularly dog owners and possibly parents of younger children.

Wildflower update

Wildflower watch

It is only sixteen days since the wildflower turf was laid yet the first of the flowers believed to be red campion are now in bloom ( according to our wild flower book red campion is supposed to be pink). So let’s hope they are the first of many!

Wildflower care

We have been constantly watering this area as it is essential to keep the turf damp until the flowers become established.

Watch this space for more updates as we have them.